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Jan 26, 2012

Rushdie & Grimus

Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay on 19 June 1947. He went to school in Bombay and at Rugby in England, and read History at King`s College, Cambridge, where he joined the Cambridge Footlights theatre company. After graduating, he lived with his family who had moved to Pakistan in 1964, and worked briefly in television before returning to England, beginning work as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His first novel, Grimus, was published in 1975.

His second novel, the acclaimed Midnight`s Children, was published in 1981. It won the Booker Prize for Fiction, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (for fiction), an Arts Council Writers` Award and the English-Speaking Union Award, and in 1993 was judged to have been the `Booker of Bookers`, the best novel to have won the Booker Prize for Fiction in the award`s 25-year history. The novel narrates key events in the history of India through the story of pickle-factory worker Saleem Sinai, one of 1001 children born as India won independence from Britain in 1947.

Rushdie`s third novel, Shame (1983), which many critics saw as an allegory of the political situation in Pakistan, won the Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. The publication in 1988 of his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, lead to accusations of blasphemy against Islam and demonstrations by Islamist groups in India and Pakistan. The orthodox Iranian leadership issued a fatwa against Rushdie on 14 February 1989 - effectively a sentence of death - and he was forced into hiding under the protection of the British government and police. The book itself centres on the adventures of two Indian actors, Gibreel and Saladin, who fall to earth in Britain when their Air India jet explodes. It won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1988.

Salman RushdieSalman Rushdie continued to write and publish books, including a children`s book, Haroun and the Sea of Stories (1990), a warning about the dangers of story-telling that won the Writers` Guild Award (Best Children`s Book), and which he adapted for the stage (with Tim Supple and David Tushingham. It was first staged at the Royal National Theatre, London.) There followed a book of essays entitled Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 (1991); East, West (1994), a book of short stories; and a novel, The Moor`s Last Sigh (1995), the history of the wealthy Zogoiby family told through the story of Moraes Zogoiby, a young man from Bombay descended from Sultan Muhammad XI, the last Muslim ruler of Andaluc√É­a.

The Ground Beneath Her Feet, published in 1999, re-works the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice in the context of modern popular music. His most recent novel, Fury, set in New York at the beginning of the third millennium, was published in 2001. He is also the author of a travel narrative, The Jaguar Smile (1987), an account of a visit to Nicaragua in 1986.

Salman Rushdie is the Honorary Professor in the Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was made Distinguished Fellow in Literature at the University of East Anglia in 1995. He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 1993 and the Aristeion Literary Prize in 1996, and has received eight honorary doctorates. He was elected to the Board of American PEN in 2002.

The subjects in his new book, Step Across This Line: Collected Non-fiction 1992-2002 (2002), range from popular culture and football to twentieth-century literature and politics. Salman Rushdie is also co-author (with Tim Supple and Simon Reade) of the stage adaptation of Midnight`s Children, premiered by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2002. His other novel "Shalimar The Clown" (2005), is the story of Max Ophuls, his killer and daughter, and a fourth character who links them all. It was shortlisted for the 2005 Whitbread Novel Award.

An ideal futuristic fantasy "Grimus" is the heart-rending saga of a fictitious character "Flapping Eagle" whose quest is to find out his sister "Bird Dog" with whom he is separated since childhood.

Salman Rushdie, original name is Ahmed Salman Rushdie, born in Bombay on 19th of June 1947. He spent his childhood going to school in Bombay and at Rugby in England. He used to read History at King`s College, Cambridge, where he joined the Cambridge Footlights theatre company. After graduating, he lived with his family who had moved to Pakistan in 1964. He worked there in television before returning to England. In England he began working as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His first novel was Grimus, which was published in 1975.

Plot Summary
Published in 1975, Grimus was Salman Rushdie`s first published novel. To a large extent it has been disparaged by academic criticism and though Peter Kemp`s comment is particularly vitriolic it does give an idea of the novel`s initial reception; `Grimus` is one of the notable creations of Salman Rushdie. This is not any exceptional work of Rushdi but also a notable science fiction. This eccentric story deals with immortality, created worlds, surreal things, other dimensions both inner and outer, and also outcasts, which make the story different from the others The story follows Flapping Eagle, a young Indian who receives the gift of immortality after drinking a magic fluid. Flapping Eagle , an Axona Indian who has a lighter complexion than the rest of his people. His mother died just after some seconds he was born and as a result he was outcasted. He is not easily accepted, by the society. His sister "Bird Dog " protected him and presented him with the elixir of eternal life and after that she disappears mysteriously from the land of the Axona. Flapping Eagle is then exiled from his people, and wanders the world for centuries. Flapping Eagle wanders the earth for 777 years 7 months and 7 days, searching for his immortal sister, Bird Dog. Flapping Eagle explores identities till he falls through the hole in the Mediterranean Sea. He arrives in a parallel dimension at the mystical Calf Island. Here he finds people blessed with immortality yet bored with the sameness of life. However they are reluctant to give up their immortality and exist in a static community under a subtle and sinister authority. Flapping Eagle is tired with the mundane reality of immortality hence wants to get rid of the Grimus effect.

Published by the Random House Trade, this is indeed a noteworthy work of Rushdie.

Rushdie`s maturity gains diction in this futuristic fiction. The topics like hybridity, immigration, exile, imperialism and nationhood are subtly touched in this novel. As ideally said by the critics ""tentative steps towards an examination of post-coloniality" Salman Rushdie`s Grimus is undoubtedly a great work.

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